The Swish of the Curtain: Blue Door 1 By Pamela Brown Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the Blue Door series.


The classic story of seven children with a longing to be on stage: the inspiration for actors from Maggie Smith to Eileen Atkins

In the town of Fenchester, seven resourceful children are yearning to be famous. One day, they come across a disused chapel, and an idea is formed. With a lick of paint and the addition of a beautiful curtain (which, however much they try, won't "swish" as stage curtains ought), the chapel becomes a theatre - and The Blue Door Theatre Company is formed.

The children go from strength to strength, writing, directing and acting in their own plays. But their schooldays are numbered, and their parents want them to pack it in and train for sensible jobs. It seems that The Blue Door Theatre Company will have to go the way of all childhood dreams. But with a bit of luck, and the help of some influential friends, perhaps this is not the end, but only the beginning of their adventures in show business...

About the Author

Pamela Brown (1924-1989) was a British writer, actor and television producer. She was just 14 when she started writing her first book, and the town of Fenchester in the book is inspired by her home town of Colchester. During the Second World War, she went to live in Wales, so The Swish of the Curtain was not published until 1941, when she was 16. She used the earnings from the books to train at RADA, and became an actor and a producer of children's television programmes.

Praise For…

'The adventures are gentle and the children’s personalities — sometimes generous, sometimes bratty — appealingly real.' Alexis Soloski, The New York Times

'I wanted to act before I read this book, and afterwards there was no stopping me.' - Maggie Smith

'An enchanting book. A must for any child who wants to become an actor.' - Eileen Atkins

'Whether you are already entranced by the magic of theatre or have yet to come under its spell, The Swish of the Curtain is a wonderful story of the intense please of performance and the life-changing effect that putting on a play has on a group of children. Pamela Brown's classic novel celebrated childhood friendship and the transforming power of creativity; it has inspired generations of readers to love theatre too and to pursue their own performing dreams.' - Julia Eccleshare

'Part of the novel's appeal, as well as it's humour and the excitement of the group's entry into an acting competition, is Brown's pitch-perfect depictions of childhood.' - Guardian

'Pure nostalgia... Fans of Noel Streatfeild will love this.' - Red Magazine

'That's what I wanted to do.' - Victoria Wood, on the children setting up their own theatre

'I'd soon read my way along all the Browns on the shelf in the library. I particularly liked her Blue Door series.' - Jacqueline Wilson

'As a child I loved The Swish of the Curtain.' - Julia Donaldson

'Budding thespians will adore this' The Times

'The tales... have stood the test of time... will charm readers new and old, young and not so young. Bravo Pushkin Press for bringing them back' - Good Schools Guide

Product Details
ISBN: 9781782691853
ISBN-10: 1782691855
Publisher: Pushkin Children's Books
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: Blue Door